Former Surfside Beach mayor files defamation lawsuit

Grand Strand

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – A former mayor of Surfside Beach has filed a defamation suit against a local resident.

Former Mayor Bob Childs filed with lawsuit in January against Al Kelley.

The suit claims Kelley posted defamatory statements on social media about Childs. The posts allegedly asserted that Childs was engaging in illegal activity and professional misconduct while he was mayor of Surfside.

The lawsuit says in March 2019, Kelley falsely posted that a local business received a facade grant, and that ‘the process for receiving a facade grant is to give Mayor Childs an envelope with cash in it.’

Kelley also allegedly accused Childs on scoial media of taking cash in exchange for facilitating permit approvals.

The suit continues by saying that Kelley spoke ‘similar untruths’ to other residents of Surfside Beach.

These actions- the suit claims- are harmful to Childs and residents of Surfside because ‘good and qualified candidates for office are electing not to serve if serving requires being subjected to a barrage of libelous and slanderous conduct and cyber bullying.’

Childs is seeking damages from Kelley, as well as compensation for attorney fees. Childs also wants the alleged posts removed from Facebook and an express retraction published.

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